Pay hikes higher than the rate of inflation for workers in Canada in the past year are likely to be a boon for foreign nationals hoping to come here under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
“Wages offered to temporary foreign workers should be similar to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, and with similar skills and years of experience,” notes the federal government on its website.
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Under the TFWP, there are streams, one for high-wage positions and another for low-wage positions. But all employers are required under the TFWP to pay temporary workers competitive salaries regardless of which stream they use to recruit foreign workers.
And those wages are rising, faster than inflation.
Median Hourly Wage Growing Fast In Many Provinces and Territories
Although Canada’s rate of inflation is currently 6.7 per cent, the median hourly wage jumped by 12.5 per cent in the territory of Nunavut, soaring to $36 per hour from $32, and by 10 per cent in Nova Scotia, from $20 to $22 per hour, in the year that ended Apr. 30, 2022.
Next-door neighbour New Brunswick saw a similarly-large media wage hike of 8.3 per cent, from $20.12 to $21.70.
That was in line with the magnitude of salary increases in the Northwest Territories where the median wage jumped almost 8.56 per cent, to $37.30 from $34.36 per hour.
In Ontario, the median hourly wage rose more than 8.4 per cent, to $26.06 per hour from $24.04. On Prince Edward Island, median hourly wages climbed 8.15 per cent, to $21.63 from $20. And the francophone province of Quebec saw median hourly wages increase by slightly more than 8.3 per cent, to $25 per hour from $23.08.
In Canadian provinces which already had higher wages, the average pay hikes tended to be relatively more modest.
Alberta saw a median hourly wage jump of only 5.75 per cent in the past year, to $28.85 from $27.28 and wages saw the same kind of movement in British Columbia, a rise of 5.76 per cent from $25 to $26.44 per hour.
The Yukon territory saw a median hourly wage increase of just under 6.7 per cent, to $32 per hour from $30.
Official Statistics Show Jobs Booming in Canada
Earlier this year, Statistics Canada reported that the number of jobs boomed in February as pandemic restrictions eased and Canadians – and temporary foreign workers – increasingly landed paying work.
The big winners in terms of job gains in February were Ontario and British Columbia, both of which saw the number of employed workers rise by 0.8 per cent that month, along with Quebec which saw 0.9 per cent growth in employed workers.
Foreign nationals who want to work in Canada on a temporary basis can do so provided they have a work permit through one of two main programs, the TFWP and the International Mobility Program (IMP).
The TFWP offers work permits for candidates whose employers obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A positive LMIA confirms there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job at hand and that no Canadian worker is available to do the job.
The program is made up of four streams: high-skilled workers, low-skilled workers, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, and the Live-In Caregiver Program.
IMP work permits do not require a positive LMIA. They do require the employer to submit an employment offer under their employer portal.